Chicago Blackhawks sign Mikael Hakkarainen and Tim Soderlund


On Monday morning, the Chicago Blackhawks announced they had signed two prospects to entry-level deals, signing Mikael Hakkarainen and Tim Soderlund. Both deals for the forward duo will run through the 2021–22 season.

Blackhawks sign prospects Hakkarainen, Soderlund to entry-level deals

The Chicago Blackhawks missed out on signing Russian free-agent Ilya Mikheyev on Monday morning as he signed a one-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but they did announce the signing of two draft prospects in Tim Soderlund and Mikael Hakkarainen.

Hakkarainen, a fifth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft last Summer, saw his season end on Saturday, as the Chicago Steel eliminated the Muskegon Lumberjacks in the USHL Eastern Conference Finals. In 42 USHL games with the Lumberjacks in the regular season, Hakkarainen tallied 47 points, good for forth on the team in scoring. He also added nine points in eight USHL playoff games this postseason for Muskegon.

Mikael Hakkarainen

Chicago Blackhawks prospect Mikael Hakkarainen of the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL.

In his USHL career with the Lumberjacks and Chicago Steel, Hakkarainen has skated in 126 games and tallied 111 points. The 6-foot center was slated to play for Providence College this year, but left at the beginning of the season to re-join Muskegon.

Chicago also signed 2017 fourth-round pick Tim Soderlund on Monday. Soderlund completed his third season in the SHL, Sweden’s top league, this season with Skellefteå AIK. After beginning the season with Frölunda HC, Soderlund returned to his long-time junior club and played a fourth-line role. In 48 SHL games this season, Soderlund totaled 14 points. In his 138 career SHL games, Soderlund has tallied 35 points.

Tim Soderlund

Tim Soderlund celebrates a goal for Skelleftea of the SHL. (Photograph courtesy of Ola Westerberg)

Playing primarily in a bottom-six checking role, Soderlund has shown promise as a hard-working, under-sized wing. He impressed at the 2018 World Junior Championships with Team Sweden, tallying five points in the tournament and bringing about comparisons to fellow countryman Viktor Arvidsson.

Both entry-level deals run through the 2021–22 season and both players will most likely start next season with the Rockford IceHogs in the American Hockey League.

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